Unknown To The American Public


There was an election in Japan on 30 August 2009 in which there was a huge upset.  Read the Wiki entry on current Japanese politics, then read a more current Wall Street Journal article.

So far, nothing is surprising.  A new government wants to make changes to existing conditions in order to satisfy campaign promises.

From The Fifty-Year Wound by Derek Leebaert comes this nugget:

Moreover, secret subsidies to leaders of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) – the “party of free enterprise,” as it was calling itself – had to continue, since they claimed to be too waek to oppose their socialist rivals.  Tokyo’s finance minister and other LDP officials sought specific contributions for the 1958 parliamentary election, claiming that otherwise they would “lose out.”  The finance minister “put a bite” on Washington, according to the U.S. ambassador, for “financial help in fighting communism.”

Initially Washington refused to come up with the requested funds, advising the LDP to look to its own business community

[snip]

“We financed the LDP,” recalls the CIA officer who ran many of these operations.  Secret payments became routine and perpetuated that party’s crony capitalism.

How long these payments went on the author does not say.  We know from our own experience that incumbency is a huge advantage.  It appears that by last August the Japanese public was fed up with the LDP and American meddling.

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